From Jamaica all the way to Barbados, explorers and colonists from Great Britain easily convinced islanders of nearly every ethnic persuasion that cakes, pies and tarts were the highlight of every meal.
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
3/4 cup (lightly packed) light brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted 1 1/2 can (20 ounces each) pineapple chunks, drained, patted dry with paper towels, then wrapped in more paper towels, and set in a bowl for several hours.
1 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 6 tablespoon (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature 1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 2 large eggs, separated, at room temperature 1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
Procedure: Preheat oven to 350F.
For topping, mix brown sugar, salt and butter in a medium-size bowl with a spoon. Add the pineapple and toss the chunks in the mixture. Spread the topping evenly in an 8-inch square pan and set aside.
For the cake, sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together into a small bowl.
Cream the butter, 3/4 cup of the sugar, and the vanilla in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Stop the mixer once or twice to scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the egg yolks and beat the mixture on low speed until they are incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape the bowl.
With the mixer on low speed, add half the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and blend just until incorporated, about 10 seconds. Scrape the bowl. Add the buttermilk and mix on low speed for 8 seconds. Scrape the bowl. Fold in the rest of the dry ingredients by hand, then turn the mixer to low for several spins. Scrape the bowl.
In another medium-size bowl, whisk the egg whites on medium-high speed until frothy, about 15 seconds. Gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and continue beating the whites to soft peaks, about 15 seconds more. Stir 1/3 of the whites into the batter with a wooden spoon, to loosen the mixture. Fold in the remaining whites with a rubber spatula.
Spread the batter evenly over the pineapple and place the pan on the rack in the oven just below the center. The higher heat allows the topping to caramelize better. Bake the cake until the top is golden and springs back to the touch, and a tester inserted in the center comes out dry, about 50 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool for about 2 hours. Run a spatula around the sides and turn the pan upside down onto a plate. Makes 9 to 12 servings.
1 cup sugar 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour 3 tablespoon cornstarch ¼ teaspoon salt 2 cups boiling water 3 egg yolks, beaten ¾ cup freshly squeeze lime juice 1 teaspoon grated lime peel 1 tablespoon butter 1 (9-inch) Pie Crust, baked
3 egg whites 3 tablespoon sugar
Blend 1 cup sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt in top of a double-boiler over hot water, then stir in boiling water and cook, stirring, until mixture thickens. Continue cooking over low heat 10 minutes, then remove from heat. Stir in small amount of hot mixture into egg yolks. Whisk into hot mixture and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add lime juice, grated peel and butter. Pour into crust. Preheat oven to 20F.
To prepare meringue, beat egg whites in a medium bowl until stiff but not dry, adding sugar a little at a time. Spoon meringue over top of pie and bake in preheated oven just until top starts to brown. Refrigerate until chilled. Make 1 pie. Serves 8.
Traditional Pound Cake
1 pound butter 1 pound sugar 10 eggs, separated
4 cups flour ½ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla 2 tablespoon grated lemon rind
Butter 2 12-inch loaf pans and dust lightly with flour. Set aside.
In a large bowl cream the butter. Gradually add the sugar and continue creaming until mixture is light and fluffy.
In a separate bowl beat the egg yolks. Add the yolks to the butter mixture, beating constantly.
In a bowl or a large sheet of wax paper, sift the flour, salt, and baking powder 4 times.
Gradually add the flour to the butter mixture. Mix thoroughly. Add the vanilla and lemon rind. Mix thoroughly.
Preheat oven to 300F. In a small bowl beat the egg whites until they are stiff but not dry. Fold into the batter.
Pour half the mixture into each of the loaf pans. Bake for 1 to 1 ¼ hours or until a cake tester inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.
Remove to cooling racks. Cool 10 minutes in the pan. Then turn out onto racks and cool completely.
Note: A traditional pound cake such as this one calls for 1 pound each of the major ingredients. Ten eggs weight about 1 pound. Four sticks of butter = 1 pd, and four cups of flower = 1 pd.
Banana and Ginger Ice Cream
16 fluid oz. can evaporated milk, chilled 1/2 cup light brown sugar 3 ripe bananas, mashed 2 tablespoons syrup from ginger jar 4 oz. preserved stem ginger, chopped
ginger syrup to serve.
Turn freezer to its coldest setting. Pour evaporated milk into a bowl and, using an electric beater, whisk until thick and mouse-like. Whisk with sugar.
Whisk bananas and ginger syrup into evaporated milk. Stir in chopped ginger. Cover and freeze for 3 hours until just frozen. Spoon into a bowl and mash with a fork or whisk to break down ice crystals.
Return mixture to container and freeze again 2 hours. Mash once more then freeze and leave at room temperature for 20-30minutes before serving. scoop into chilled glasses, and serve with a little ginger syrup drizzled over. Serves 6-8